Why We Judge
Updated: Nov 4
Judgment is a normal, instinctual human behavior.
It’s necessary for our survival and a good thing when used correctly.
Our primitive brain’s job is to keep us alive.
One of the ways it does this is to avoid danger, and judgment helps us decipher danger.
For instance, we judge the safety of walking alone down a dark alley.
The truth is, circumstances and people can cause harm.
And we need to be able to judge potential danger.
But when the judgment becomes opinion based instead of fact-based, we have a problem.
We know it’s opinion based when the word should is somewhere in our thought.
That’s when the judgment becomes dangerous to us.
Judgment is meant to help, not hinder us.
It helps when we judge danger. It hinders when we judge people.
Judging people creates disconnection and division with others and ourselves.
Unfortunately, our society is experiencing a lot of this lately.
So what can we do?
The first step is to not judge yourself for judging - it’s not your fault.
It’s just what brains do.
The second step is questioning your judgments with compassionate curiosity.
I wonder why I’m judging? Where am I sensing danger? And, is it actual danger?
The third step is understanding the one we are judging.
We can understand without agreeing.
Understanding leads to compassion, connection, and creativity.
Which can lead to solution-focused progress.
Yes, someone might genuinely be engaging in “bad” behavior.
But bad behavior tends to come from fear and pain.
Why answer “bad” behavior with more “bad” behavior?
Instead of thinking they should or shouldn’t,
Consider using compassionate curiosity.
I wonder why?
Imagine if someone did this for you.
Imagine a world where we could all do this for each other.